The 2003 Continental GT with its magnificent W12 engine changed Bentley forever. Compact, rapid, reliable, and fashionable, the Conti (to use its street name) is one of the Crewe firm’s most admired products and brought the Bentley brand to a younger customer.
In 2009, the Supersports was launched as the fastest production Bentley ever, and the first to run on gas and biofuel (E85 ethanol). A special Quickshift tiptronic six-speed automatic gearbox reduced gear change times by 50 percent, and a Torsen T3 four-wheel-drive system made the Supersports surefooted enough to break the world speed record on ice at 205 mph (330 km/h). But despite the epic performance this is an amazingly refined supercar with superb steering and a truly magic carpet ride.
THE PEOPLE’S POWER PLANT
The VW-designed twin-turbocharged six-liter W12 engine is one of the world’s best. The cylinders are arranged in four banks of three to save space, but even in standard GT tune this engine still develops a mighty 552 bhp.
Seat frames in the Supersports are carbon fiber to save weight.
Huge grille and vents cool engine and brakes.
The superfast Bentley has become so iconic and desirable that owners of “ordinary” Conti GTs often put on the revised bumpers and black rims to make their cars look like Supersports. There’s now a flourishing global industry “pimping” up all Continentals.
Ceramic brakes are the most powerful ever fitted to a production car.
Front apron is unique to Supersports and is plastic to save weight.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL Bentley Continental Supersports (2009)
BODY STYLE Four-seater, two-door coupe.
CONSTRUCTION Alloy panels, steel chassis.
ENGINE 5,998cc, W12 Twin Turbo.
POWER OUTPUT 621 bhp.
TRANSMISSION Six-speed tiptronic automatic.
SUSPENSION Independent all around.
BRAKES Four-wheel discs.
MAXIMUM SPEED 205 mph (330 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 3.7 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 8.9 sec
A.F.C. 15 mpg (6.4 km/l)